In episode 43, I answer a question from a listener about how to prevent your puppy from “losing their mind” when you get to group obedience class.  One the podcast listeners sent me an email describing that their 5 month old puppy just can’t focus on them when they arrive at their puppy kindergarten class and pulls across the parking lot and then proceeds to get even more out of control once they get inside.  This podcast gives you a protocol to take advantage of that sort of situation to help your dog learn to settle themselves and learn to focus on you more easily around high distraction situations like group class.

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In this session:

Does your puppy get crazy when you take them to group class?

Would you like to use that situation to your advantage in training to teach your puppy to settle around distractions more?

What’s the one skill you can teach your puppy that will allow them to go more places with you?

Details In this Session


People United for Pets (P.U.P. Dog Rescue)

Rescue Dog of the Week:

Here’s Joy’s page:

Interview with the Director of PUP Dog Rescue:

If you’d like to know more about PUP Dog Rescue and more about how to find a good rescue organization, as well as get some tips about picking a good rescue dog for you, here’s my interview with Laura Tonkin (She’s the Director of PUP Dog Rescue)



Tara’s over excited puppy as they go to group class issue:

Systemic solutions:

  1. Follow your trainer’s advice and do a couple private lessons to improve your puppies
  2. Follow the general technique that comes from BF Skinner’s learning labs – don’t feed her for a longer period prior to class so she’s more motivated by the food in your hand.

Specific exercise for settling her during your travels to group class:

The prime goal is to begin actively coaching your puppy in her ability to recover in her nervous system when there is a transition in the environment.  The subtext in my head when working with any dog but certainly with a puppy is, “I’m not going to the next step of anything we’re doing with a crazy, inattentive puppy.”

  • Think of everything you do with your pup as a collection of segmented actions and changes
    • Getting to the parking lot
    • Opening a car door
    • Opening a crate door
    • Exiting the crate
    • Exiting the car
    • Walking to the building where group class is
    • Walking through the door
    • Seeing a puppy

Note that your situations may be different but there are transitions everywhere, all the time.  Use these transitions to teach:

  1. Settling behavior
  2. Focusing back on you in a the “follow me game”

Get your Questions Answered on future episodes of The Dog’s Way Podcast

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Let me know how your experiments go in coaching your puppy to settle down a little more!

I look forward to hearing your story.

All the Best,